This, that and the other. Mostly the other
Many worldly scholars have often wondered what the world would have been like had Steve Jobs been given the chance to run it. Naturally, we went a step further. Where would cricket be had Jobs been at the helm? We suspect it would have ended up a publicly listed entity with insanely priced stock. And that it would have spread like wildfire to all corners of the globe, even enjoying a brief stint as the world's most popular sport. New formats would have been unveiled and discontinued. And the governing body would have become wildly popular (imagine that).
It's all in the "i"
The little "i" has served to add a sense of mystique to all Apple products. So rebranding the ICC as iCC wouldn't really have made a huge difference. After all, what are ICC decisions if not mysterious and confusing enough to alienate half the cricket population? But it would have made cricket cool to the Americans.
All cricket matches would have been played in whites - with a hint of a silvery glow. Boards would have been expected to pay more if they wanted coloured clothing.
Jobs would have announced sweeping changes to the cricket landscape in his first iCC annual meeting. Test cricket would have been revamped into three versions: TC3 (a three-day format) TC4S (a four-day format, with the option of having Bumble do all the commentary) and T5 (a yet-to-be-released version that would have satisfied the traditionalists).
The 50-over game would have been retained as the "classic", with a hint of it not being supported in future. The aesthetically obsessive Jobs would have dropped the IPL from the catalogue, branding it "obscene", and would have changed everything, again, with a split-innings Twenty20 format.
The initial backlash would've been downplayed by urging fans to "think differently". And after a year or so we would have all been brainwashed into thinking that this new world of cricket was what we had wanted all our lives.
A new Asian superpower
Step aside, India. In a Jobs-led cricket world, he would have only answered to China. They wouldn't necessarily even have a team, but with all cricket gear-manufacturing moving there to support the launch of the iGear Store, China would be the new superpower. The Bird's Nest would be the new Lord's. Dravid wouldn't get past Immigration for bringing the Great Wall into disrepute. And the Barmy Army would cop a hiding when it went up against a nation trained to support in unison.
Whet your appetite
The often laborious one-day World Cup would have been revamped and played incrementally over three years, with round-robin games in the first, quarter- and semi-finals in the second, and the big one in the last. Jobs would have held back the good stuff, so that when eventually the games were played, the demand would be so high that ground capacity could be increased to around 500,000. "A World Cup final should be something people should camp out for weeks to attend."
Only male models would have been allowed to play cricket. Aesthetics was Jobs' No. 1 priority. Even if the games themselves weren't that good, fans would have been privy to some of the best-looking cricketers out there. You know what this means, though, don't you? Sorry, India, no Tendulkar.
Siri replaces DRS
We often say the umpires need all the help they can get. Well, in the Jobs era, they would have Siri - the decision review assistant. Got a decision you're not sure about? Just ask Siri. "Is Ricky Ponting lying about claiming that catch?" "Tell me the nearest exit from this ground now that I've given Tendulkar out?" These, and other umpire quandaries, can easily be resolved by asking Siri. Cricket laws would also have been changed to accommodate this new technology - from "Umpire's word is final" to "If in doubt, Siri is right".
Yes, it would've been a beautiful world, where cricket would have seamlessly integrated with every part of our lives. Or as Jobs would have put it - a cricketing ecosystem.
Damith Samarakoon is a Sri Lankan cricket fanatic living in Sydney. He blogs regularly at www.theflyslip.net
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